I had done all the necessary legwork, researched everything I could and was excited at the prospect of being a landlord—I felt pretty savvy actually—my girlfriend was not so confident in my abilities, and I think it’s for this very reason she tagged along.
I’m not afraid to admit that.
If I didn’t say it already, I’m dealing with POS houses right now, not warzones, but not someplace Vanilla Ice (even during his heyday) would hang out at either.
The deal was done, saved by a last minute sprint to the property to string up some downed wiring (myself) that had been knocked down months before in a storm (hence the gargantuan pile of free fire wood and trash on the property).
The appraiser had annotated the issue with the lines being down in his report to the lender, but the repair of these lines were earmarked by yours truly, for “later.”
This came up the day before closing, and needed the appraiser to re-inspect. What a pain in the ass that was.
In retrospect, restringing the lines wasn’t very smart—it was pretty stupid in fact, but I was desperate–and the seller was getting a lot of interest from other offers after accepting mine, and it was like a pack of vultures waiting for my impending failure.
The utility company responded to my requests as you would expect; delays, lassitude, unresponsiveness and incompetence.
It turns out I was lucky, they were telephone and cable lines, not power. I didn’t know that at the time—again, lucky and dumb.
Get by with what you got.
Good thing you can’t get electrocuted by 15 millivolts. You’d be in more danger placing your tongue on the terminals of a 9 Volt battery.
I told you, I live on the edge.
More good news was to be had at the closing table, I was told that fortunately we wouldn’t have to concern ourselves with the pesky math associated with prorating the rent, as the tenant’s hadn’t paid anyhow.
The seller would forfeit his retroactive share of one week. What a saint.
Not a good start, but not his fault. I accepted, a mistake I’d repeat believe it or not.
I had stopped by the unit numerous times over the next few days, making the mistake of texting first.
Finally, by chance, and lack of prior notification, we met. I explained the tardiness of their payment, fees, etc., after properly introducing myself and providing the necessary paperwork, of course.
Yup, I’m a nerd.
Instead of a solution, they began a rundown of the numerous issues with their unit.
Most were caused by their own doing, a broken window, pests…they had trash thrown outside their unit, and the kitchen was teeming with roaches, dirty dishes and the remnants of meals past.
We have rats.
I offered pest control on my dime—if she cleaned up first. Let’s just say I never had to pay for pest control.
The conversation did not go well. I ensured them all would be taken care of, but they balked at any discussion of rent.
When I explained the different options, credit, paypal, etc, they looked at me like I was a turd in their yard. Although at that point it might have been viewed as an improvement.
The whole exchange set my girlfriend off–she instructed them on a deadline, fees, and repairs. They sat for a minute dumfounded, and a few minutes later we left with a solution.
All the articles I read dealt with “average” people, of which, this couple were not.
Apparently we aren’t listening to the same podcasts.
I instructed my girlfriend why my time-tested tactics had come up short, but she wasn’t interested.
So this is where I was:
I had a vacant upstairs unit that needed to be renovated. It appeared the departed tenant had apparently sublet the unit to a pit bull; who apparently wasn’t happy, but recently fed, judging by the huge pile of crap on the floor.
I also had to fit in multiple repairs to a unit occupied by tenants that didn’t fit the profile of any of the books I had read, didn’t care to pay rent, and didn’t listen to biggerpockets.com podcasts–despite being as informative as they are.
I’m going to go on record as stating none of the stuff I read mentioned this.
However, on the stated date, I received a money order, and an education. I had my work cut out for me, and it was month one, property one.
LET’S BREAK THIS ONE DOWN:
RENT 1: 675.00 (a reluctant 675)
RENT 2: —
RENOVATIONS: 1808.57 (Kitchen remodel, bathroom shower gut/replace, typical turnover/paint)
POST RENO PARTY ORLANDO, FL, “THE ICE BAR”
Post blog Brew
Session Black Lager, an amazingly smooth beer, brewed in Hood River, Oregon.
I haven’t given up. We’ll still sip some of the good stuff (and one for the girlfriend of course), despite things trending in the opposite direction. Heck, look at it this way—I got an education, and successfully evicted a pit bull.
Who else can say that? This badass MoFo, that’s who!